The mission of BlackGirlsCode is to increase the number of women of color in digital careers by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science in a supportive, and challenging environment. BlackGirlsCode is determined to "change the ratio" by introducing girls at a young age to the world of technology and to feed the STEM pipeline so more women of color become the technology and innovation leaders of the future.
Since 2011, BlackGirlsCode has been committed to providing girls from underrepresented communities access to technology and the 21st century skills necessary to become the tech leaders and creators of tomorrow. BlackGirlsCode's Summer of CODE campaign was created as vehicle to bridge the digital divide and change the face of technology in the United States. The campaign serves as an awareness program to future weeklong programs taking place in Chicago, Oakland, and Atlanta in the fall. When we give girls of color the tools to develop their own future, great things are bound to happen.
Girlstart's mission is to increase girls' interest and engagement in STEM through innovative, nationally-recognized informal STEM education programs. Founded in Austin, Texas, Girlstart has served more than 40,000 girls and 6,500 teachers and families since its inception in 1997. Girlstart provides an intensive suite of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education programs for girls (K-12), and is the only community-based informal education nonprofit specifically dedicated to empowering and equipping girls in STEM through year-round educational programming. A recent study by The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) confirmed that Girlstart After School is the largest program of its kind in the nation.
- Girlstart After School reaches 2,500+ children and families annually with free, intensive, high-impact STEM learning programs in 36 local high-need schools.
- In 2012, Girlstart Summer Camp expanded to bring 14 one-week STEM camps to 350+ girls in the Austin area.
- Girlstart Summer Camp and Girlstart After School 'to Go': In 2012, Girlstart offered 8 additional summer camps in high-need areas around the country. In 2013, Girlstart plans to launch replication of the Girlstart After School programs at high-need schools in other Texas communities.
- 500+ 4th through 8th grade girls participate in our annual Girls in STEM Conference. More than 65% of 2012's participants received a need-based scholarship and free transportation to the event.
- Free, family-friendly Community STEM Education programs now provide high-quality STEM outreach to more than 10,000 people each year.
Girlstart's approach to effective STEM teaching and learning:
Girlstart's programs incorporate characteristics widely recognized in the informal science education field as highly effective practices in STEM education for girls. These include providing girls with 1) hands-on experiences; 2) activities and projects with real-world applications; 3) a low-stakes environment that supports intellectual risk-taking and emphasizes collaboration over competition; 4) choices and opportunities to pursue self-initiated tasks; 5) early exposure to a variety of STEM academic and career paths; and 6) access to role models and mentors in the STEM professions.
Recent Organizational Accomplishments and National Recognition:
In July 2012, Girlstart After School and Girlstart Summer Camp were recognized as effective informal STEM programs by Change the Equation in its recently released 'STEMWorks' database (http://changetheequation.org/improving-philanthropy/stemworks). In this initial launch of the database, Change the Equation chose 20 programs to endorse (2 of which are Girlstart programs) from about 100 originally evaluated.
The After School Alliance has invited Girlstart to participate in a national pilot in 2012; the study will examine effective STEM education programs throughout the United States. Last year, they featured Girlstart's Project IT Girl program in a report highlighting strong out-of-school time (OST) STEM programs, particularly commending our strong program outcomes: 87% of the program participants entered a 4-year university, with 80% of them pursuing STEM majors and careers.